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Roof gutters and cisterns.


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Our house construction included roof gutters which drained into about 6  1m x1m (depth unknown) concrete structures which we thought were to store rain water. This impression was reinforced by the existence of a pipe visible near the top of each "cistern", seemingly to direct overflow away from the house.  There has been a severe shortage in the municipal water supply, so 2 weeks ago my brother-in-law (we are currently in the US) removed the heavy concrete lid on on of these "cisterns" and discovered that the bottom was just dirt, not concrete, and it was quite dry.

WTF, thought we. I contacted the builder and he said

"
I will let you know that there is no cistern tank that we construct
in your residence, I don't know where you get this information that we build a cistern tank.
 
What we build there is a catch basin to catch all rain water from the roof and
water from the shower and the kitchen. 
"
My mind is boggled. Water should be directed away from the house, not collected near the foundation and allowed to soak into the ground right next to the foundation. The builder has got to be spewing BS.
 
Comments please.
 
 
Edited by Guy F.
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5 minutes ago, Gerald Glatt said:

:shades::shades::shades::shades::shades:Just the way it's done here.....Welcome to the USA

 

                               

Thanks.

The best alternative may be to install a plastic liner in each "cistern".

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5 hours ago, Guy F. said:

Our house construction included roof gutters which drained into about 6  1m x1m (depth unknown) concrete structures which we thought were to store rain water. This impression was reinforced by the existence of a pipe visible near the top of each "cistern", seemingly to direct overflow away from the house.  There has been a severe shortage in the municipal water supply, so 2 weeks ago my brother-in-law (we are currently in the US) removed the heavy concrete lid on on of these "cisterns" and discovered that the bottom was just dirt, not concrete, and it was quite dry.

WTF, thought we. I contacted the builder and he said

"
I will let you know that there is no cistern tank that we construct
in your residence, I don't know where you get this information that we build a cistern tank.
 
What we build there is a catch basin to catch all rain water from the roof and
water from the shower and the kitchen. 
"
My mind is boggled. Water should be directed away from the house, not collected near the foundation and allowed to soak into the ground right next to the foundation. The builder has got to be spewing BS.
 
Comments please.
 
 

Water on the foundation may be a benefit. Depends on the soil. If too dry, the soil can contract and crack your foundation, too wet and you can actually float a building off the piers. I installed an expansion joint in a building where they had planted iceplant around half the building and watered it 2 hours per day for forty years. I told them what their problem was, even thrust my arm up to the shoulder in the ground but they wouldn't listen. I would want the soil around my foundation to get neither too wet or too dry. If I were building I would probably have the slab extend 2-3 meters outside the walls of the house. The house would float on the earth like a raft. I know, crazy talk.

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i do not have any building knowledge, but I would agree the installation of a plastic tank will have 2 benefits.  It will avoid possible water problems with the foundations and provide some water for household use, so it is win/win as I see it.

If there is low rain levels on a regular basis, you could put some plants around the house, but careful not to bring 'rising damp' into play.  But I understand your frustrations - I scratch my head when I see some of the building 'techniques' here.

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